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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 28, 1916:

Ump Silk O’Loughlin stopped the fracas between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians three times [yesterday] and threatened at one time to forfeit the game to Boston—all on account of a band, the feature of which was a bass drum soloist. The band, and particularly the drummer, got on the nerves of the Red Sox especially when the Indians started batting rallies.
...
The drummer soloist shut his eyes and whanged away in such fashion that the Boston pitchers—there were two of ‘em—wobbled. O’Loughlin ordered the band to stop playing, something never done before in Cleveland in the history of the game.

I knew John Adams and his drum had been showing up at the ballpark in Cleveland for a long time, but 100 years? Must’ve been John Adams Senior Senior Senior.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 28, 2016 at 12:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, indians

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-27-2016

Toledo News-Bee, July 27, 1916:

RED SOX PITCHER, ACCUSED OF USING BEANBALL, SAYS NO HURLER DELIBERATELY TRIES TO HIT AN OPPONENT

“The beanball will always be a part of the game,” said [Carl] Mays, who has punctured five men this season. “I don’t believe there’s a pitcher in any league in the country who ever deliberately tried to hit a batsman. No man’s arm is as true as a rifle.”
...
“Some [batters] ‘choke up’ to within two inches of the plate instead of sticking within the six-inch boundary prescribed by the rules of the game.”

“Naturally the pitchers who try to keep the ball high and inside on these, or any other batters are liable to hit men when they put a lot of stuff on the ball.”

There’s an accompanying photo with this article, with a caption that reads in part, “Below, Carl Mays, of world’s champion Red Sox, center of latest campaign on deadly pitch.”

Four years and three weeks later, Mays would again be the center of unwanted attention over a beanball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 27, 2016 at 09:16 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: beanballs, carl mays, dugout, history

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-26-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 26, 1916:

A fight between Johnny Evers of the [Braves] and Rolla [sic] Zeider of the Chicago team enlivened the game [in Boston yesterday], which Chicago won, 3 to 2, in 11 innings. This was the first home game for Evers since suspended by President Tener. After an argument with Zeider, Evers hit him and punched him with a bat.

According to Dennis Snelling’s book Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life, Evers argued with the umpire after a called third strike, Zeider demanded that Evers be ejected, Evers walked towards Zeider menacingly with a bat, Zeider stomped on Evers’s toes, and Evers responded by whacking Zeider on the knee with a bat.

In the crowd that day was a young Moe Howard*, and the world of comedy would never be the same.

(* - this part is not true.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 26, 2016 at 09:50 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fights, history, johnny evers

Monday, July 25, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-25-2016

Milwaukee Journal, July 25, 1916:

The assault on Umpire George Johnston at the [Toledo] baseball park Sunday will result in the elimination of pop bottles, according to Manager Bresnahan. A paper substitute will be used.

Johnson was knocked unconscious by one of fifty or more bottles thrown from the stands when the spectators were dissatisfied with a decision which meant defeat for the home club.

The arbiter left the hospital yesterday with several stitches in the back of his head where the missile found his mark.

Baseball fans of the early 20th century frequently came dangerously close to taking “kill the umpire” literally.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 25, 2016 at 11:14 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, umpires

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Stick « Our Game

The trade card shown at the left is part of a six-card series contrasting “New Style” (1880s) and “Old Style” (1870s). Depicting “The Scorer,” it casts light on an old mystery that I referenced many moons ago in my book Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I wrote:

We have heard the stories all our lives, and we share them warmly with our children. But we come to the Baseball Hall of Fame to see, to see the instruments of glory, the stuff of legend, the tangible remains of departed heroes and forgotten fields. This is a museum like no other because it is about baseball, that singular American institution by which we mark our days. Not simply historical relics, these artifacts spur us to recall to life an image dormant in our brains for decades. They connect us not only to our own childhood and to our parents, but also to a national, collective past, one whose presence we sense but whose details have been lost.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2016 at 08:39 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history

Friday, July 22, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-22-2016

Milwaukee Journal, July 22, 1916:

Hans Wagner, holder of diamond records galore during twenty-one years of big league ball, has added another mark to his string in the form of home run No. 106.
...
His total of 106 probably never will be equaled.

Certainly there’s no chance it could ever be equaled by anyone playing big league baseball in 1916, right?

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 22, 2016 at 09:13 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, honus wagner

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-21-2016

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, July 21, 1916:

The Cleveland Club has protested to [American League] President Johnson that the grass at Shibe Park should be cut. Manager Fohl claims that the grass is so long that the outfielders are in danger of tripping or turning an ankle. It is a fact that the grass is longer than any we have ever seen in a major league park, but Mack says it will not be cut until the Mackmen depart for the West. He argues that it would be impossible to cut the grass without doing away with morning practice.

I assume Mack wanted the grass long to slow the long procession of line drives and gappers being hit into the outfield against the worst team in modern baseball history. Also, that’s a terrible excuse. Even if games started at 3PM, they’d have ended around 5, giving groundskeepers hours of daylight to cut the grass.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 21, 2016 at 09:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, groundskeeping, history

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-20-2016

Milwaukee Journal, July 20, 1916:

CHRISTY MATHEWSON TRADED TO CINCINNATI FOR HERZOG

[Reds President Gerry] Herrmann announced today that he had agreed with President Harry Hempstead and Manager McGraw of the New York Nationals, to trade Charles Herzog, manager of the Reds and Outfielder Wade Killifer to the Giants for Christy Mathewson, Outfielder Rousch and Infielder McKechnie.
...
[Mathewson] had expressed willingness to go to Cincinnati and had made arrangements sometime ago to move there.
...
Members of the [Giants] expressed great regret at seeing Mathewson leave them after his long service with the Giants, but were unanimous in wishing him the best of luck in his new field.

Mathewson isn’t the greatest player to have been traded - that’s some guy named George Ruth - but he’s one of the best players to have been traded more than once. By my count, he’s fifth in career WAR among pitchers to have been traded multiple times, behind Alexander, Seaver, Maddux, and Big Unit.

The player to have racked up the most WAR with a team that eventually traded him was Hank Aaron, who had 142.1 WAR as a Brave and 0.4 WAR as a Brewer. Matty had 101.9 WAR as a Giant, -0.1 WAR as a Red.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 20, 2016 at 10:33 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: christy mathewson, dugout, history, trades

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-19-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 19, 1916:

Chicago forfeited to Brooklyn [yesterday] by the technical score of 9 to 0, because Manager Tinker refused to leave the field when Umpire Byron ordered him away…[In the top of the tenth inning with the score tied 4-4,] Byron charged [Vaughn] with delaying the game, finally calling a ball, while the Cub pitcher held the sphere in his hand.

Manager Tinker voiced a violent protest and refused to leave the field, claiming that Brooklyn players were “stealing” the Chicago signals, and that Vaughn’s delay was merely to gain time to inform Catcher Fisher of it. Byron was obdurate, however, and called a policeman to eject Tinker. While the policeman hesitated, Byron counted the minutes and finally declared the game forfeited.

Also on the same page of the Gazette Times, Athletics left fielder Wally Schang stumbles, falls on his head, and knocks himself cold. Doctors say he has a broken jaw and a possible skull fracture. He’ll be out of action for the next month.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 19, 2016 at 09:21 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 18, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-18-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 18, 1916:

Peeved over the loss of [yesterday’s] ball game, John J. McGraw is accused of having “sicked” Catcher Kocher on Miguel Gonzales, the Cards’ Cuban backstop. A fist fight that extended from the Cards’ dugout to the home plate brought a riot call to the police. [National League] President Tener watched the fight from the stands.
...
While the fans shouted “Lock ‘em up” Gonzales and Kocher were led away. At the Dayton Street Police Station the belligerents cooled off and the matter was amicably adjusted.

Maybe Kocher shouldn’t have attacked Gonzalez, but he was a 28 year old third catcher hitting .056. His career was on the line, and ignoring a direct order from his manager would likely have been the final nail in the coffin.

It didn’t help. Kocher was back in the minors for good starting in 1917.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 18, 2016 at 09:15 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fights, history, john mcgraw

Friday, July 15, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-15-2016

Pittsburgh Press, July 15, 1916:

Arthur Shafer, the former McGraw third baseman, is coming east and he may join the Giants. Shafer was one of the best infielders in the game, but he did not like baseball and went to California, where he owns a large garage. He found, after he had retired, that like the rest he hankered for a little baseball. Now he is coming to New York to see John McGraw and he may get back in the game.

Tillie Shafer was a good player, not great, but certainly good. The problems (from a baseball standpoint) were that he didn’t enjoy playing and he didn’t need the money. He retired at least twice in his early 20s and was done for good at age 24.

Tillie had one of the best explanations I can recall seeing for a retiring ballplayer: He said he was sick of getting perfumed notes from women.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-14-2016

Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 14, 1916:

It looks as if one of the greatest comedians of modern baseball will return to the big time. The St. Louis Nationals are after Ping Bodie, the former White Sox outfielder, whose real name is Francisco Pizzola.
...
Bodie hit well while with Chicago but his base running caused the writers to poke fun at him.

The Ping Bodie Experience is fascinating to me. He was a pretty good hitter (.275/.335/.396, 109 OPS+) but from everything I’ve read he was just completely unprepared mentally and emotionally to deal with the scrutiny of a big league ballplayer.

After spending four mostly good seasons as a regular in Chicago (1911-1914), Bodie went back home to San Francisco to play in the PCL. He shredded the league and talked a lot about how much he hated his time in the majors and didn’t have any interest in going back. He did go back, though. Ping played every day for the 1917 Athletics, hit .291/.356/.418 (139 OPS+), and re-established himself as a big leaguer for the next few years. Bodie went back to California in 1922 and continued to crush minor league pitching into his early 40s.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 14, 2016 at 12:49 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ping bodie

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-13-2016

Pittsburgh Press, July 13, 1916:

Tris Speaker ran over into right field in the eighth inning of the second engagement with the Yanks [in New York] Tuesday, and pulled down a hard drive from Baker’s bat.

As the ball settled into the great outfielder’s hands, a man sitting in the right wing of the grandstand, jumped up and hurled a pop bottle. The missile narrowly missed Speaker’s head. It might have fractured his skull.
...
Two special policemen ran to the spot from which the bottle had been thrown, but nobody seemed willing to point out the offender. If it had been possible to identify the fellow, he would have been arrested and prosecuted.

At least Tris never had to worry about people winging cell phones at his head.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 13, 2016 at 09:21 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, tris speaker

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-12-2016

Toledo News-Bee, July 12, 1916:

[Louisville] Colonels and [Minneapolis] Millers each took an end of the double bill on Tuesday. Minneapolis’ win in the second game made it four out of six on the series.
...
[Louisville] Manager Bill Clymer objected to Umpire Murray’s decisions behind the bat in the first game, and Murray invited him to stand behind him and watch the throws.

I’d have loved to watch an umpire invite Earl Weaver or Billy Martin to hang out behind the plate.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 12, 2016 at 10:46 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Monday, July 11, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-11-2016

Toledo News-Bee, July 11, 1916:

CUT BALL IN HALF, IS COLUMBIA’S PLAN

Columbia University wants at least half the baseball that was used in the annual game with Penn on Franklin field this year.

For years the winning team has hung the ball in its trophy room, but this year darkness brought the contest to an end in the 15th inning with the score tied. The Penn team retained possession of the ball despite protests.

Harry Fisher, graduate manager of athletics at Columbia, has written the Penn athletic authorities suggesting the spheroid be cleaved through the center and each team retain half.

I’d like to think that’s how they phrased it: “I suggest we cleave the spheroid through the center and each team receive half.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Friday, July 08, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-8-2016

Milwaukee Journal, July 8, 1916:

President Ban B. Johnson of the American league fined “Wild Bill” Donovan, leader of the Yankees, $100 for sending his trainer, Jimmy Duggan, into the upper pavilion at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, last Saturday to wallop a noisy spectator.

Walter B. Shive yelled down to “Wild Bill,” telling the Yank manager something about his early history. Bill was too busy with his managerial duties at the time to climb to the second pavilion, so called for his pinch hitter to do the work. Duggan crept quietly down upon his prey, and gently placed his fist against Shive’s face to emphasize his argument.

And that was Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s first fight. Now you know…the rest of the story.

I’m not saying I want things like this to happen these days, but I am saying it would add a new dimension to an afternoon at the ballpark.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 08, 2016 at 09:46 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-7-2016

Milwaukee Sentinel, July 7, 1916:

HERZOG TOO EXTRAVAGANT FOR CINCY STOCKHOLDERS

Red Manager Stops at Best Hotels on Road and May Lose Job as Result

Let the denials fall where they may, Charles Herzog, present manager and shortstop for the [Cincinnati] National league club, is about to reture as leader of the Reds, and he will be succeeded by Hal Chase…

Herzog is dissatisfied with his present job because of the refusal of the Cincinnati stockholders to work in harmony with him. Herzog, a graduate of the {John?} McGraw school of managing a ball team, believes in living up to the name of {major?} league manager by traveling to and from the ball parks around the circuit in a taxicab, and eating at the best hotels, whether or not the rest of the team stops at a cheaper hotel…

This is far from agreeable to the Red stockholders, who say the club is not making enough money to warrant such a show of splendor.

Herzog came from the McGraw school of managing and also from the “ask forgiveness instead of permission” school, apparently. He was about to be relieved of his duties, but it wasn’t Chase who succeeded him. Instead, it was Christy Mathewson, who came over from the Giants in the trade that saw Herzog head back to New York. If only Christy had stuck around in Cincinnati instead of joining the army.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 07, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: buck herzog, dugout, history

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-6-2016

Pittsburgh Press, July 6, 1916:

Physicians attending Schuyler P. Britton, president of the [St. Louis] National league club, who was badly burned about the face from the explosion of a cannon cracker while entertaining his family in a July Fourth celebration, announced that they feared both eyes have been injured. The cracker exploded just a few inches from Britton’s face and left burns which probably will scar the baseball magnate for life. Fortunately for Britton the glasses he wears protected the eyes, and but for the spectacles the physician stated the eyes would have been destroyed.

This would have made Fireworks Night* at Sportsman’s Park a bit awkward.

(* - Yes, I know this wouldn’t have been a thing without night baseball, which didn’t exist in 1916.)

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 06, 2016 at 07:55 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fireworks, history

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-5-2016

Toledo News-Bee, July 5, 1916:

It is said the Red Sox plan to shift Pitcher Ruth to the outfield. The Sox don’t miss Speaker. They only miss his fielding and hitting.

Man, the Red Sox must really be getting desperate if they’re thinking about using a pitcher in the outfield.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 05, 2016 at 07:03 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, dugout, history, tris speaker

Friday, July 01, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-1-2016

Pittsburgh Press, July 1, 1916:

A row between Capt. McBride of the Washington team and Mays, the Boston pitcher, precipitated a clase in the third inning of yesterday’s game [in Washington] that threatened for a time to develop into a general fight among the players of the two clubs.

The police restored order and after Agnew, a Boston catcher, had been arrested and Capt. McBride and Manager Griffith of the Washingtons put off the field, the game was resumed and Boston won, 6 to 1.

The trouble started when Mays hit McBride with a pitched ball. McBride responded by throwing his bat at the pitcher, who almost immediately was surrounded by a score of Washington and Boston players.

Then the police got into action, but did not reach the angry knot in the center of the diamond until Agnew had hit Griffith a blow to the face. Agnew was taken to police headquarters, where he put up $60 to guarantee his appearance in court to answer a charge of assault.

He punched the opposing manager! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of somebody doing that.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, fights, history

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-30-2016

Pittsburgh Press, June 30, 1916:

So thoroughly incensed has Ty Cobb become as a result of the outrageous abuse to which he was subjected by [St. Louis] fans during the series just closed that he intends to bring the matter officially to the attention of President Johnson of the American league.

Johnson, it will be remembered, promised at the time of the Tigers’ famous strike four years ago that the ball players would be protected from personal abuse.
...
This promise is not being kept, for Cobb was called every vile name that the bleacherites could think of all through the series.

I don’t really heckle athletes, but I’m certain that if I read this in 1916, I would go out of my way to mock Cobb incessantly every time he came to my town.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 30, 2016 at 09:29 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb, whining

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-29-2016

Washington Times, June 29, 1916:

[Cleveland manager] Lee Fohl makes a bid for popularity when he numbers his players, but what’s the use?

In these latter days of baseball in the major leagues, every park is well equipped with score boards and official announcers. There is no need of numbering players in such an open game as baseball.
...
Let correct score boards be given away at all major league parks, and have some brains spent in the management of the scoreboard, that’s all that is necessary for the fans to get all the information they wish.

And get those darn kids off my lawn!

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 29, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, grumpy old men, history, uniforms

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-28-2016

Washington Times, June 28, 1916:

A double-header yesterday afternoon, in which the Browns and Tigers split even, was featured by a small riot.
...
The riot occurred during the first game and the battle was delayed several minutes before the police could restore order. The trouble started when Cobb took exception to the remarks of a fan occupying a box over the Tiger bench. Angered by the spectator’s remarks against him, the Georgia peach went to the box, grabbed hold of the railing and attempted to climb in, but was prevented by his team-mates. Umpires, police, players and fans crowded about the principals and there was much excitement. Ty pointed out the offender to the police, and he left the box.

Ty being Ty.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 28, 2016 at 09:52 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, ty cobb

Monday, June 27, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-27-2016

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 27, 1916:

Cleveland American League players wore numbers on the sleeves of their uniforms in [yesterday’s] game with Chicago, for the first time in the history of baseball so far as known. The numbers corresponded to similar numbers set opposite the players’ names on the score cards, so that all fans in the stands may easily identify the members of the home club.

Numbers? On uniforms? It’s a fad. It’ll never stick.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, uniforms

Sunday, June 26, 2016

How Clayton Kershaw’s peak stacks up with all-time greats. | Sports on Earth

Verdict: I’m sorry, but Johnson, after all these years, still wins. Yes, there were only 16 teams, and they were all white guys from the United States, but as far as dominating the sport from the mound, no one has done the job at the level and the volume of The Big Train.

There were some surprises in this exercise. Johnson still reigns. Pedro may still take the modern division, but Maddux is right there with him. Grove has two separate career peaks. And amid the names of Pedro, The Meal Ticket, The Franchise and Big Six, Clayton Kershaw fits right in.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 04:17 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, history

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